Blogs – a lot of businesses have one, and those that don’t are probably aware of what they are.
If your website has a neglected blog page, or doesn’t have one at all, why should you prioritise blogging as part of your marketing strategy?
Just in case you aren’t completely sure, first things first.
What is a business blog?
For this, I will defer to the champions of inbound marketing, HubSpot:
Business blogging is a marketing tactic that uses blogging to get your business more online visibility. A business blog is a marketing channel (just like social media, direct mail, email marketing, etc.) that helps support business growth.
Now we’ve cleared that up, let’s get on with it – here are 7 reasons why I think your business should get blogging.
1. SEO & Website Traffic
Show me a business that doesn’t want better rankings in search engines, or more website visitors.
To increase traffic coming to your website, you need to be ranking for the keywords, queries and topics your customers are looking for.
One of the pillars of SEO is content. A blog is a great way to add new and relevant content to your website. Of course another is to update your existing pages, but a blog gives you the opportunity to talk in detail about topics that interest your audience. It can also be used to provide regular company updates, news and press releases.
When creating blog posts, you can include external and internal links, images, video and so on. If optimised and done correctly, this helps your SEO efforts by sending out all the right signals to search engines.
Working hand in hand with social media as a means for distribution and sharing, your blog can become a major source of traffic.
Blogging makes it easier for new visitors to find you, and gives a reason for previous visitors to keep coming back.
2. Essential Part of Content Marketing
If your business has a content marketing strategy (and lets face it, it should), then blogging is one of the easiest ways to implement it.
Content marketing is all about giving your customers something valuable, building trust, brand awareness and authority.
A blog is a ready made tool for providing your target audience with content that interests them. You can use it to answer their questions, solve their problems, provide insight and inspiration, or pique their interest.
In the content marketing process, blogging can be a major force of attraction. Regularly updating your blog with new content sends out a positive message about your business, positioning it as an expert in its field.
3. Connect and Communicate with Your Audience
Blogging is a great way to spark informal but meaningful conversations with existing or potential customers.
Most blogs have a comment section, enabling you to collaborate, share and engage with people. This can build a community of regular visitors and contributors, and these people can become advocates for your brand.
Make sure that you engage and reply to people that are commenting on your blog – it shows that you care and will stimulate debate. In turn, this encourages others to do the same.
A blog doesn’t have to be limited to certain types of post either – e.g. how to’s or opinion articles. You can also use a blog to post about company news, events, new products and services.
In this way blogs can be your own PR and communications tool. You have the advantage of knowing that when you put out company related press releases on your blog, it will reach the people you want it to.
Still not convinced? Before we get to the next reason, take a look at some stats about blogging from Express Writers.
4. Build Trust & Authority
Ultimately, the aim of a successful blog should be to generate sales (or at least leads). Trust and authority are big advantages when it comes to the sales process.
Not all customers are ready to buy straight away. If they are looking to solve a specific problem, or educate themselves on a particular topic, your blog can be the starting point in the process.
There is always a limit to the amount of information that you can cram into a standard web page before it gets bloated and overloaded. With a blog, you have the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise in your field.
If you have useful knowledge that can be shared, a customer that finds answers on your blog will be far more receptive when your sales person introduces the products or services you offer.
5. Tell Your Story and Give your Brand a Voice
I’ve used this phrase before – if your brand speaks, how does it sound?
A blog gives you an opportunity to further establish your brand and tone. You can be more informal, and inject a bit of personality into it, helping your business to stand out. It also gives your audience an insight into the business, its values and culture.
Why not ask different employees to contribute ideas and content for your blog? In most businesses there will be a wealth of experience and expertise that can be used to create genuinely great blog content.
Finally, content marketing has always been about storytelling. Most websites have an “About Us” page, but that rarely gives us the full picture. The more your audience knows and likes about you, the more likely they are to buy from you.
6. Cost Effective and Easy
As far as most marketing initiatives are concerned, blogging is pretty cheap. More importantly however, it is also proven to get results. Whether you are measuring ranking, traffic, brand awareness, enquiries or sales, it can give an excellent return on investment.
If you focus on creating evergreen content for your blog, you are creating assets that will help to boost your marketing efforts in the long term. It may cost a small amount of time and money to create a post, but the residual benefits should far outweigh this.
Blogging is cumulative. What I mean by this is, when you blog extensively around topics that are relevant to your business, you will start to see exponential benefits. The more you blog successfully, the better the return on investment.
When I say blogging is easy, I mean it is easy to start a blog. What isn’t so easy is having a strategy and plan in place to make sure it isn’t left to gather virtual cobwebs. Setting a realistic target for frequency of posts is important, as is setting aside the time to make sure they are relevant, and of high quality.
7. Drive Sales and Long Term Growth
A blog is unlikely to transform your sales overnight. However, once you’ve started to get some traction in terms of SEO, social media and website traffic, you can use your blog to generate sales leads.
This is because every blog post should have a call-to-action (CTA) – scroll a bit further and you’ll find mine! It could be an offer of further free content, a link to a landing page for a product or service, subscription or just a simple contact form.
Not every reader will become a lead, but those that do can be handed over to your sales people as warm (already receptive – which sales people love). You will also be handing over a lead with all the necessary information – who the person is and what they are interested in.
Finally, as a combination of other points, you should be looking at blogging as a potential driver for long term business growth. It perfectly complements strategies for SEO, inbound and content.
A great blog post is an investment that will bear fruit for many months, or even years, down the line.
Do you have a neglected blog that you are looking to resurrect?
Are you struggling to produce fresh, quality content for your blog?
Want to implement a blog on your company website but don’t know where to start?